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UNC Graduate School suspends GRE requirements for 2022 application cycle

Individual departments can opt-in to require the test for admission

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At the April 20th Graduate School Administration Board meeting, the group elected to suspend the GRE requirements for the 2022 application graduate program application cycle.

The Graduate Record Examination will not be centrally required for admission to UNC graduate programs for the 2022 admissions cycle, Dean of the Graduate School Suzanne Barbour said at a meeting on Tuesday. 

The Administrative Board of the Graduate School also discussed the preliminary approval of new degree programs and the allocation of funding for the 2022 fiscal year at the meeting.

What’s new? 

  • In May 2020, the board approved a pilot program to gradually phase out the GRE from graduate admissions requirements, Barbour said.
    • In applications for fall 2021 admission, the GRE was still required centrally, but individual departments were able to opt-out of the requirement. Barbour said 70 percent of departments did so. 
    • For the 2022 admissions cycle, the exam will not be centrally required, but departments will have the choice to opt-in to using it as a requirement. 
      • Sarah Jacobson, assistant dean for admission/enrolled students at the Graduate School, said they are looking to have departments decide about the requirement by June 1.
    • Jacobson said graduate applications were up by 17 percent for the 2021 admissions cycle with this program in place. 
  • The board unanimously approved a preliminary authorization request for a new graduate program in global medicine.
    • The program would be primarily online and run through UNC’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy, as well as two partner campuses, one in Australia and one in England. 
    • Stephanie Schmitt, the Graduate School’s associate dean for academics, said one potential complication is related to the different time zones of the partner institutions. The logistics of the curriculum and its implementation are still under discussion.
  • Barbour said the Graduate School received additional resources to increase its allocations to programs in the College of Arts & Sciences and the professional schools to the same levels as they were during the 2021 fiscal year. 
    • “Despite the budget challenges that the University is having and the budget cuts that we're experiencing, at least for fiscal 2022, which will be our incoming class of fall 2021 — everything has been restored,” Barbour said.
    • This extra funding was allocated to the Dean’s Office of each school for distribution. 
  • Jacobson said the Graduate School will have a virtual hooding ceremony on May 15, celebrating doctoral graduates from August 2019 to May 2021. 
  • Barbour also said she hopes things will be back to normal in the fall. 
    • “The expectation is that we will be back to having in-person classes, that students will be in those classes with no social distancing but masks required,” Barbour said. “And certainly for our graduate students, that means for graduate students who are TAs, they'll be teaching in the classroom again in the fall.”

What’s next? 

  • The preliminary approval request for the global medicine program will go through the Office of the Chancellor and Office of the Provost in the coming months. If they approve it, it will then be submitted to the System Office.
  • This was the board’s last meeting of the semester. It will resume regular meetings in the fall.

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